In addition to providing a static Cloud Assignment image (created in Speedgrader at the time of student submission), provide instructors with a link to the student's live doc/slides/spreadsheet.
In Google Cloud Assignments, at the moment a student submits work, instructors are given access to a static documentcreated at that time. The time-stamped image is certainly useful for assuring adherence to deadlines. However, this means instructors have no access to student progress on the assignment prior to the time of submission and no direct way to interact with the live document from Canvas.
Why this is important:
The great power of the Google Tools Suite is its ability for real-time collaboration.
Here are just a few examples where instructors' ability to quickly access students' live documents would help elevate student learning and simplify instructor workflow:
(1) to monitor student progress on the assignment in real time (including access to the version history)
(2) to provide real-time targeted feedback as students work in the assignment
(3) to work collaboratively on the assignment with students in real time
(4) to help troubleshoot technical problems with the docs in real time
The Current (unsatisfactory) Workaround: Ask students to rename and share their Cloud Assignments (either the individual assignment or the folder) with the instructor. This is not a satisfactory process because the instructor is now dependent upon the students to share their work, and share it correctly. This is no mean feat, especially at the elementary and middle levels. It also means the instructor has to spend time searching her/his own Drive to locate shared documents.
Idea details: Ideally, the links would be generated at the time the students click on the assignment, perhaps creating a list of links (see screenshot below) for that assignment. Alternatively, but less satisfactorily, the link could be placed in Speedgrader above the static image of each student's submission. The downside to this method is that the instructor would only receive access at the time of submission. Preferably we would have access both ways, to save clicks during grading. In terms of rights to the documents, the instructor would need to have editing rights, or, at the very least, commenting rights.
Below: An example of a way a list of links could look for a Cloud Assignment. This screenshot is taken from a Google Script Add-On called Doctopus, written by Andrew Stillman. (Side Note: Interestingly, with Doctopus, the docs are generated with the instructor as owner and the students as editors. When the instructor no longer needs access to the docs, s/he clicks a button that hands over ownership to the individual students, and removes the instructor. This has the effect of clearing the instructor's Drive of now-unnecessary files.)